Locals and regulars will be happy to hear that the Ulysses Voyage of old is back—back with colorful chairs, back with traditional white Greek wrought iron, back with the much-loved menu, and most importantly, the owners are once again front and center.
“Family obligations forced them to pull back for seven months, but now Peter and Hana are back every day,” says Teddy Margas, the restaurant’s general manager.
Peter and Hana Carabatsos opened Ulysses at the Farmers Market 12 years ago. Peter took the recipes of his Greek grandmother, known as Mama Voula, and created a menu that remained the same for over a decade. But after so much time, and during the Carabatsos’ brief absence, changes did start to creep into the menu.
With the original menu back on track, they decided to spruce up the indoor/outdoor dining space.
“People would come in and say ‘I’ve been to the Farmers Market every day for years and didn’t even know you were here!’”
To remedy the situation, the owners made the restaurant lighter, brighter and more authentic. They painted the chairs and window frames in green and blue chalk-paint, a method used throughout Greece and the Greek islands. The wrought iron was whitened and allowed to weather naturally.
Inside, new lighting was added to highlight the beloved Greek wall mural, and the grout on the stone fireplace is being lightened up to mimic the stone floors of Santorini. “What we love about Greece is the combination of the old and the new—the ancient ruins juxtaposed with the newness of 2015,” says Teddy.
The regulars will also be happy to hear about the return of the live musicians on Friday and Saturday nights, and of the return of the original menu and recipes.
The meze (Greek word for tapas) is on one side of the newly designed menu layout while the entrees are now on the other—a much cleaner and more readable display.
The meze includes traditional Greek items such as calamari, mussels in light cream sauce, fried whole shrimp, cucumber/yogurt tzatziki dip, hummus and Greek caviar, called taramosalata.
Entrée items include hand-carved gyros, moussaka, lamb/beef/chicken skewers and pastas.
“We’re most famous for our lamb shank,” says Teddy. “It slow roasts all day in vegetables, tomatoes and spices and it just falls off of the bone into the gravy.”
Ulysses Voyage provides many gluten-free and vegan options as well. The owners searched high and low for an authentic pita bread recipe and came up with a whole-wheat recipe that is both healthy and traditional.
The restaurant also serves frappes, a popular Greek blended coffee and sugar drink as well as pure Greek coffee.
“If you drink that pure Greek coffee on Friday, you won’t go to bed until Thursday,” laughs Teddy. “We’re Greek owned and operated, many of our ingredients come straight from Greece.”
With Peter and Hana back on sight, the locals will be thrilled to know that it’s the Ulysses Voyage they’ve always known and loved.
By Sondi Toll Stepenuk